Wild-caugth Gulf shrimp have received the support of the Seafood Watch program. (Photo: Seafood Watch)
Environmental watchdog recommends Gulf shrimp
Tuesday, September 28, 2010, 21:30 (GMT + 9)
In response to the catastrophic events in the Gulf of Mexico this year, Seafood Watch™ is encouraging consumers support beleaguered fishing communities by purchasing sustainable Gulf seafood like shrimp.
The watchdog program headquartered at the Monterey Bay Aquarium makes science-based and peer reviewed recommendations to consumers in order for them to make ocean-friendly, sustainable seafood choices.
“Seafood Watch has always been a program about knowing your food, knowing where it comes from and thinking about what kinds of impacts your choices have on the oceans,” says Senior Manager of Outreach and Education Sheila Bowman.
“We don’t want people to panic and turn away from what is still good and potentially available.”
A comprehensive environmental impact team of six researchers analyze data from across the country and produce regional guides for consumers that are updated every six months. The guides organize seafood into one of three categories: Best Choices, Good Alternatives, and Avoid.
Best Choices from the Gulf of Mexico include farmed clams, mussels, oysters and crayfish. The Good Alternatives are wild clams and oysters, blue crab, American or Canadian shrimp (not imported shrimp from China).
“Imported shrimp, both farmed and wild, are on the avoid list,” says Bowman.
Wild-caught Gulf shrimp are a good alternative because American fishermen use a Nordmore grate to reduce bycatch, marine life that is caught unintentionally in fishing gear, and Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) to prevent the accidental capture of endangered sea turtles.
“Let’s be mindful of what we are eating,” encourages Bowman, “and make sure that the fishermen and the fisheries are still there when we get to the other side.”